THE TALE OF A NATION-5
A Detailed Analysis Of Muslim History
From Battle of Siffin till Karbala and end of Yazid.
Recitation of the Holy Scripture.
Do you consider giving water to pilgrims and maintaining the Sacred Mosque the same as believing in God and the Last Day and striving in God’s path? They are not equal in God’s sight. God does not guide the unjust people.
Those who believe, emigrate and strive in the way of God with their wealth and their lives are greater in rank in the sight of God. And they are the successful.
Their Lord announces to them the good news of mercy from Him, and acceptance, and gardens wherein they will have lasting bliss.
They will abide in it forever. Indeed, with God is a great reward.
End of Recitation of the Holy Scripture.
In Part 30 of this dialogue, I told you about the battle of Jamal and then moved towards Muawiya who raised the entire country of Syria against Ali. Despite many efforts of negotiation by Ali the same year in July 657 AD the battle of Siffin took place between Ali and Mauwiya at Siffin on the banks of the Euphrates river, in what is now Raqqa in Syria. The two armies camped themselves at Siffin for more than one hundred days. Ali had 80,000 men, including 70 Companions of prophet who participated in the Battle of Badr, 70 Companions who took oath at Hudaibia, and 400 prominent Ansars and Muhajirun; while Muawiya had 120,000 Syrians. In 100 days Ali’s forces lost 25,000 men, while Muawiyah’s forces lost 45,000 soldiers. When a senior companion of Prophet Ammar bin Yasir fighting as a commander from Ali’s side killed by Syrian forces this created a great chaos is Syrians as there was a definite saying of Prophet that Ammar would be killed by an evil rebellion party and that Ammar would be inviting them towards good while they would be inviting him towards Hellfire. Seeing this Abdullah son of Amr bin Aas told his father this saying which then Amr bin Aas told to Mauwiya. Hearing this Mauwiya asked Amr to be silent on this, and not to let others hear the tradition of the Prophet, and he created a new logic that Ammar had actually been killed by Ali who brought him into the battle. Later when Ali came to know about this he replied that if he killed Ammar then Muhammad is the one who murdered Hamza bin Abdul-Muttalib.
After Ammar’s martyrdom Ali sent a message to Muawiya and challenged him to single combat, generously proposed to save the blood of the Muslims saying that whoever won should be the Caliph. Mauwiya declined and when Amr bin Aas his right hand asked him to do so he replied have you ever seen anyone fighting Ali and lived.
The next day army of Syria was about to be defeated because of the attacks made by Ali’s General Malik al-Ashtar. Seeing a complete defeat On the advice of Amr bin Aas the army of Muawiya put up copies of Qur’an on their swords, as a sign of agreeing that Qur’an be the arbiter in settling their dispute. This caused a division in the army of Ali. Some wanted to fight others not. Ali told them that this was but a deception, but ultimately, he had to accept the arbitration of the Quran. Ali proposed Abd Allah bin Abbas or Malik al-Ashtar as his arbiter and suggested Ahnaf bin Qays as a second choice or as assistance, but some people did not accept his recommendations and imposed Abu Musa al-Ashari to Ali as an arbiter. On the other hand people of Syria named Amr bin Aas as their representative for arbitration.
The two arbiters decided removal of both Ali and Muawiya and the election of the Caliph by a council. Amr bin Aas asked Abu Musa to announce the result of the arbitration ahead of him. Thus Abu Musa Ashari announced the removal of Ali, but when it came to Amr bin Aas instead of announcing the removal of Muawiya, he confirmed the dismissal of Ali and appointed Muawiya as the Caliph. Following this, there was a fight between these two arbiters and they abused and cursed each other. The two armies had already stopped the battle and Syrians and Mauwiya were successful in escaping the inevitable defeat of their army. After this, in later years Ali tried to attack Syria again, but people of Iraq and other areas did not comply with his orders.
Battle of Siffin, raising Quran on swords and this arbitration caused great division in Ali’s army. At that time Ali told his people that this act of bringing Quran is a conspiracy but a part of his people forced him for this arbitration. Those people called as Qurra i.e Quran readers, named so for their literalist reading of the Quran and their extreme and militant devotion to it. They broke away from Ali’s army and formed their own party called Kharijite those who exit OR the outsiders. Thus started the Battle of Nahrawan in 658 AD at Nahrawan few KM from Baghdad between Ali and the Kharijites commanded by Abdullah bin Wahb al-Rasibi which ended in a total defeat of the Kharijites. The Kharijites that survived the battle against Ali managed to flee to Basra, Sistan, Khorasan, Oman, Yemen, and elsewhere, where they had their offspring, spread their beliefs and recruited more followers. Three years later In 661 AD Ali is assassinated by a Kharijite called Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam and is buried in Najaf, Iraq.
Ali’s elder son Hassan appointed as Imam and Caliph. But Muawiya in Syria continued his efforts to become the ruler of all the Muslims so the internal fights continued. Hassan was soft in heart and did not like the further shedding of Muslims blood. He made a peace treaty with Muawiya with some conditions and stepped down and Muawiya became the Caliph the ruler of all Muslims. This act was disliked by the Banu Hashim and the Rivalry turned into Umayyah vs. Ahle Bait (family of the Prophet) and a large group of supporters of the family of prophet emerged called Shia. Later Hassan is poisoned and killed in 670 AD dominant opinion is that he was poisoned by his wife on instigation from her close relatives from Banu Ummayah. After this Hussein bin Ali becomes Imam of Ali’s followers.
In the peace treaty made by Hassan, it was mentioned that Muawiya would not appoint a successor for himself, but Muawiya appointed Yazid and on his death in 680 AD Yazid became Caliph. He was the first person who got caliphate by the appointment of his father in a hereditary manner as opposed to the tradition of previous caliphs.
Then Hussein, who is another son of Ali from Fatima daughter of Muhammad does not give his allegiance to Yazid. Yazid instructed his Governor Walid in Medina to force him to pledge allegiance to Yazid. In the meantime, a group in Kufa said Hussein that they would support him. Thus Hussain departed for Kufa from Madina. Yazid sends an army to stop them and to eliminate Hussein and his family so that there are no other legitimate claimants to the caliphate.
Hussein sent his cousin Muslim bin Aqeel to Kufa but when Yazid appointed Ubayd Allah bin Ziyad as governor the situation changed. Muslim bin Aqeel and his host, Hani bin Urwa, were executed on Dhu al-Hijjah 9, 60 AH 680 AD. Kufis broke their promise to Hussein and he went towards Karbala. Remeber Hussein is not commanding an army it was just his family and close relatives not more than 100 in number. Yazid’s forces under the command of Umar bin Sad intercept Hussein’s caravan in Karbala, and this is known in the Shia tradition as the Tragedy of Karbala in 680 AD. In which almost all of Hussein’s and prophet Muhammad family members Ahl e Bait massacred even his six month old son is beheaded and killed along with Hussein. After the battle, the army trampled the bodies of the martyrs, attacked the tents of surviving ones, took anything which were left as booty and set fire to the tents. Only one male from Hussein progeny saved which is Due to his illness, his name is Ali known as Zayn al-Abidin and Imam al-Sajjad. He and his sister Zaynab together with other women and children were taken captives by the army of Kufa. They put the heads on swords and spears and took them with the captives to Kufa to Ubayd Allah bin Ziyad and from there to Syria to Yazid.
Ali bin Hussain retired after Karbala and Muhammad bin Ali al-Hanafiyyah became the visible head of the house of Ali. It was in his name that Al-Mukhtar Thaqfi rebelled in Kufa in 686 and took revenge of Hussain and Ali Asghar’s martyrdom by killing those persons Harmala bin Kahil, who killed Ali Asghar Sanan bin Anas, who took part in Husayn’s killing, Umar bin Saad, who led the Umayyah army during the Karbala massacre and Shimr bin Thil Jawshan who beheaded Hussein.
Karbala is such a big tragedy in human history after Jesus crucifixion that I can go on and be talking about it for days and weeks. Whenever I think about Ali and then about Hussein, I feel the pain they went through all their lives. I wish I could be there in that space time and could fight form there side with their enemies. But despite all this, there are still some people in Muslims, even some prominent scholars who look like the followers of Yazid and want to defend him by giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying such things as رضي الله عنه radiyAllahu anhu for him. An Arabic phrase meaning, “May Allah be pleased with him. And this is actually not surprising if there are people who are defending Yazid as if from only one male survivor of Hussein we have so many lovers of Hussein and Ali then Yazid and his supporters would have their progeny and followers alive in this world. They based their plea on certain excuses like Hadith of Constantinople. A saying of Muhammad in various books including Bukhari international numbering 2924 where those who would participate in the battle of Constantinople were given glad tidings of Paradise by Prophet. They say that because Yazid participated in that battle, he would be among the saved ones. While the fact of the matter is that the army of Yazid was not the first army arrived at Constantinople instead it was the 7th or 8th while in prophet saying it is clearly mentioned that these tidings are for those in the first battle. Secondly, they defend Yazid and say radiyAllahu anhu for him on the basis that all this is history and we cannot say with surety if Yazid has done all this or not so better give him the benefit of the doubt. I ask you a question if that is the approach then there is no certainty if there were any individuals like Abu Bakr Umar Usman and Ali, any battle of Badr any migration of prophet or even Muhammad himself. The event of Karbala is not a trivial issue about age or marriage of someone back in history but about a great battle in which almost all of Prophet Muhammad’s progeny was martyred. And we have records of this event with proper unbroken chains of narrations. You people are so ignorant and wrong. You think Abu Talib unbeliever because history is silent about his openly proclaiming and citing “Shahada” testifying Muhammad’s prophethood but think Yazid as Muslim and Sahabi companion of Prophet despite his open cruelty and Kufr because you want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Remember some human and Jinns are Shaitan devils and their task is to do evil but God clearly said that He Will fill Hell with a majority of both of them.
Thirdly they say that all this Karbala incident was not done by Yazid but by his appointed governor of Kufa and Basra Obaidullah bin Ziyad and it’s not directly on Yazid orders as Yazid just asked for the allegiance of Hussein and his family and not for their killing. I tell you that it is not the case. As Obaidullah bin Ziyad was a favorite governor of Yazid. And at the time when Hussein was killed if Yazid did not want all that he should have punished him while instead he rewarded him with promotions and endorsed his act by not punishing him after Karbala incident.
Yazid was the first caliph who openly drank wine, kept women singers and players with himself and made dogs and roosters fight for his own pleasure. Yazid ruled for three years after his father Muawiya and three brutal events took place during his kingdom. In 680 AD, he caused the tragedy of Karbala. In 682-683 AD, the event of Harra in which he sent an army under the command of Muslim bin Uqba to attack Medina which led to the massacre of thousands of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad and looting the city by the soldiers of Yazid for three days. And lastly while opposing Abdullah bin Zubair, he attacked Mecca demolish and burn the Kaaba.
If my Lord Wills, I will continue this in next program.
Recitation of the Holy Scripture.
They want to extinguish Allah’s light with their mouths, but Allah refuses, except to perfect His Light, although the disbelievers dislike it.
So let not their wealth and their children impress you. God only intends to punish them with it in the life of this world and their souls should depart while they are disbelievers.
And they swear by God that they indeed are of you while they are not of you, but they are a people who are afraid.
Ask forgiveness for them or do not ask forgiveness for them. If you ask forgiveness for them seventy times, God will never forgive them. That is because they disbelieved in God and His Messenger, and God does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.